Two local charities, One Community Foundation Kirklees and the Christmas Dinner Project, joined forces to take part in the global day of generosity #GivingTuesday on December 3rd.
The campaign began in America in 2012, as a way to give back after the well-known shopping days of Black Friday and Cyber Monday. It was brought to the UK in 2014 by the Charities Aid Foundation (CAF) with the key aim of encouraging people to think of others in the run-up to Christmas. There are numerous ways to get involved through donating to charity, volunteering or simply helping a friend, neighbour or family member.
Last year celebrities including Sir Richard Branson, Cara Delevingne and DuaLipa used the campaign to support causes close to their hearts, alongside household name brands such as PayPal, RBS and ASOS, with leading charities like Marie Curie and the Dogs Trust getting involved on the day. The global day of giving also gives smaller charities a bigger platform to raise awareness and support for their cause.
One Community Foundation connects local people and businesses that care with causes that matter, with 100% of the grants they provide going towards supporting people in Kirklees. The Christmas Dinner movement was started by BAFTA-nominated international prize-winning writer Lemn Sissay MBE. The two organisations have now come together to kick start the first Christmas Dinner in Kirklees for 40 care leavers.
Jill Ambrazaitis from the project said “many young people that have grown up in the care of the local authority and have left care to live independently are alone on Christmas Day, having no family to enjoy the festive season with. Many of them have very negative memories of past Christmases, and there is nobody for them to share experiences and or memories with. The event is organised by volunteers in the local community in support of care leavers in that community. Too often Christmas day is a reminder of everything they never had, and it can also be a dreaded day for many of them.”
This will be the first-ever such event in this area and as such the charities both used their social media platforms to seek support from local businesses. The dinner is completely volunteer-led and needs both financial backing and volunteers to help out.
Emma Woods-Bolger from the One Community Foundation commented, “I am really proud to be supporting the first-ever Christmas dinner in Huddersfield for care leavers.”
“Clearly the local business community is keen to help, as we have had great support already, including Brighouse Flooring who have supplied selection boxes and chocolates for all the guests, Arrow ‘Elf’ Drive who are helping with logistics, Vasara Holmfirth are providing raffle prizes, ONE17 Architects & Interior Designers, and the Holmfirth Tavern who are donating £1 from every sale of the Polar Bear cocktail.”
Gráinne Mathews, Giving Tuesday UK Campaign Lead, added, “Giving Tuesday is a chance for us all, no matter where we live or what we do, to help out a cause close to our hearts. This year we’re also encouraging everyone to make a #GivingTuesdayPledge and think of ways to have an impact year-round, in addition to on the day itself.”
“That could mean giving a small monthly donation to a charity or setting aside a couple of hours each month for volunteering. Together, all of these pledges will combine to make a world of difference to so many lives.”
One Community Foundation and the Christmas Dinner Project are accepting food donations or offers of volunteering for the event. To get involved email Emma@one-community.org.uk.